All schools to remain closed until next month

All schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will now be closed until Monday 1st February – except to vulnerable youngsters and children of key workers.

A national review of this position is due to be made on Monday 18th January.

The period of remote learning for children and young people has been extended to next month.

Shetland remains in level three but the central message from the First Minister yesterday was to stay at home unless for essential purposes and to work from home where possible.

The council’s children’s services wrote to parents, carers and staff at the end of last term, after national announcements were made on 19th December.

Further information confirming updated arrangements will now be made.

All key worker applications that were made for children to attend schools and nurseries have been reviewed, and parents and carers have been notified of the outcome.

The council says the vast majority of key worker applications have resulted in places being approved.

Children’s Services will now be in touch again with parents and carers who are key workers to clarify the position.

Parents of children who have been identified as benefitting from being in school for additional support also received letters from Children’s Services, prior to the Christmas holidays.

Chairman of education and families George Smith said: “A huge amount of work has gone into preparing for the start of the new term and the enforced period of remote learning, and schools are ready to support all their children and young people and parents at this challenging time.

“The health and safety of all staff that are working in schools and nursery settings, supporting children of key workers and vulnerable children, will continue to be paramount to our planning.

“I cannot thank school staff enough for all that they have done throughout the pandemic and all that they will continue to do in these very challenging times.

“I am also delighted about how the key worker process has been managed by staff in Children’s Services and the support being offered to vulnerable children.”


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